Love.

It has been a very very very long time since I truly liked another person. I’m not talking about lust, sexual attraction, admiration, etc, I’m talking about truly feeling a connection with another person. It has been even longer that I let myself envision a future with someone. It is so god awfully frightening to me to allow myself to be that vulnerable with another person to the point I’ve had multiple panic attacks over it. How crazy is that?? I have been so surrounded by temporary connections, that I’ve totally closed myself from anything that seems to be even the slightest way permanent. It actually made me sad to feel myself push a person a way and doubt their feelings towards me. I tried to suppress my own feelings in danger of getting my heart broken again.

I finally feel whole. Secure in my body. Confident in my goofy self. I couldn’t jeopardize throwing this all away.

I’ve always said, “sex is easy, it’s falling in love that’s hard.”

I spent years chasing the wrong people, for the wrong reasons, always resulting in my heart being broken, my feelings getting walked all over and me being alone in the end, hating every inch of my body.

“If I looked a certain way, that relationship would have worked”.

“If I was more successful, this person would have wanted to be with me”.

“If I alter my appearance, I will find true love”.

In the midst of these thoughts constantly spinning through my head, I forgot what it felt like to be chased instead of doing the chasing. I forgot what it was like to hang out with someone more than once, before they started kissing my neck and sticking their hands in ‘forbidden’ places.

In the midst of this “hook up culture”, I forgot that other types of relationships and feelings existed.

I want to cry every time I think about the idea that by opening myself up, I am putting myself in the familiar place of potentially having to pick up the pieces to my own broken heart, if things don’t work out again.

Am I being pessimistic, looking at it like that? Have I just had my heart broken and walked all over too many times? Or am I being a realist, by keeping in mind all the things that could potentially happen??

If I continue to push the people away that are truly good for my soul, and turn towards the people that are damaging, I may be protecting my heart short term, but missing out long term.

It’s hard to be vulnerable and showcase your flaws and imperfections, but it seems to be almost just as hard to be standing still, while you see others around you pass by.

I just want a person I can sit comfortably in silence with. That gives me room to continue to grow and find myself. I want a person that is excited for me and even more excited to create memories with me. I want to be wanted and cherished for things other than beauty and appearance. I want someone who will challenge me to continue to be the better version of myself and question me when I do something that is worth questioning. I want to be with someone who will never allow me to have to second guess their feelings for me or intentions with me. I want someone who will never allow me to go to bed mad at them and will never leave an argument until it is resolved.

Love is scary. Vulnerable is scary. Allowing someone to see your soul is fricken scary.

But missing out on a person that may light your soul on fire is even scarier.

-A

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Rant Time!

I would love if the person I am today, could meet the person I was. The person I was a year ago, 5 years ago and most importantly the person I was 10 years ago. I think both versions of myself could teach each other a lot of things.

I love the person today. I care less about people think of me, I put my wants and needs first and I am much more happy and confident in my own skin. The girl I used to be was much more care-free, and I miss that about myself. I didn’t care about materialistic things, about dating or about the future. I wish I still have a little more of her in me.

Ok, so my ming got a little sidetracked and this post and going to take a quick little U-Turn.

I had an amazing weekend. I got to dance my heart out, see a person I have been looking forward to seeing for a while and finally got a night out with some friends. I felt like I made some nice connections, got to catch up with some friends I haven’t seen in a while and felt like I made a really good impression on this person I’ve been waiting to see.

Monday rolls around, and the outsound noise starts to fill my head. The different perspectives of the events that happened, different views of the person that had made me so happy. And suddenly, a night that pretty near close to perfect, was destroyed, by other people pushing their views, opinions and thoughts on me.

Why, as a society, do we feel the need to define everything all the time? To put meaning to every action and everything that happens. Why can’t we just leave things as they are and let time be the true definer?

I was fine having a weekend with a person without any need for a definition. Just a fun weekend, getting to know someone new in my life.

I don’t need constant communication and validation from someone to make me happy. I can be happy with memories, with a text here and there when the person is thinking of me.

I hate how our society has ruined this process and how people feel the need to inject themselves into everyone else’s business. The biggest goal I have made for myself this year was to stop gossipping about people and to stop surrounding myself by people who feel the need to talk negatively about others. It has been amazing to see how much my life has transformed and how much happier I am as a person.

I totally understand that there is a time and place to have a good rant. I think that’s healthy and necessary, but just make sure that whoever you are ranting to, is someone you can trust and someone that understands you just need a quick rant to get yourself back o track.

The more positivity you put out into the world, the more you will get back, I guarantee it.

Despite the memory of my amazing weekend being slightly getting pushed off course a bit, I am very happy. If this was the only weekend I ever get to spend with this person, at least I can sit here and tell you, I stayed true to myself, my boundaries and what my heart was telling me.

All the other noise doesn’t matter!

Talk soon!

-A

Is it rape if you liked it?

**I wrote this post a while ago and never posted it. It brings me pain to read it, but I think it’s an important topic to talk about. The un-talked about burred lines. Reader discretion is advised.

This is probably a post I should have written a long time ago. I never wrote it because it is probably one of my lowest points and I’ve been pretty darn low before. In my head, it’s very contradicting. Very dark. And very disturbing.

rape: unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, another body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim. (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/rape)

I have looked this definition up a lot over the last year. Trying to make sense of what happened to me. Was it rape? Did I ask for it? Did I want it? Is it my fault?

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. All I know is that what happened wasn’t right.

I went over to his house with the intention of just hanging out. I stated before, very clearly that I did not want anything to happen between us. In a way, I was trying to prove to myself that boys (men) wanted to hang out with me not just because they wanted to hook up, but because they enjoyed my company.

Everything was going fine. We were having some good laughs, super casual. He offered me a brownie and a beverage which I accepted without question, I mean realistically, who would question a brownie and a can of pop.  I drank the pop and ate the entire brownie. He asked if I wanted to keep watching the movie in his bedroom.  Again, I stated out loud and in words this time, that nothing was going to happen, but if he wanted to move to his bedroom so it was more comfortable we could.

At this point, I had started to feel weird. A warm fuzzy feeling. A familiar feeling for me. He started to put his hands on my body, massaging, touching, exploring. It didn’t feel right, but I didn’t say no.

By now I knew there had been something in that brownie.  Something that was making every inch of my skin crawl and every touch feels like I had asked for it.

Time felt like it was moving in slow motion, but at the same time before I knew it my clothes were off. His fingers were inside me.

Again I didn’t say no.

I never said no. The entire time, I let this man do whatever he wanted with my body, while at the same time I knew it wasn’t right.

We asked me to sleep over after everything was over and done with. But I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

I shouldn’t have driven, I wasn’t in the right mindset. I was in shock with everything that had just happened and wanted to get as far away from him as I could.

But is it rape if you orgasm? Is it rape if you never said no? Is it rape if your body liked it, even though your mind didn’t?

I don’t know. I still get stings of pain from this moment. I still question myself every day if it was my fault, this situation could be considered rape. I will probably ask myself this question for the rest of my life.

A sad reality.

HEATH!

Let’s talk about health baby. Let’s talk about food and me! (if you didn’t read that in the tune of the original song I’m shaking my head at you).

I get asked ALL the time: “How do you look like that?” “What diet on you on?” “What kind of workouts do you do?” And the answer is… there isn’t just one thing you can do that’ll make you “fit”. There are no secret diets or workouts, it takes hard work and dedication.

To start, I’m going to take you back and give you a little history of my diet habits and workouts.

First off, genetics plays a huge part and I am lucky to have gotten a very athletic/hourglass body type. I’ve always had muscular thighs and natural muscle definition. So for those of you who always wonder if I’m in the gym, doing leg day every day, you are mistaken. I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb with these thighs and have been rocking them ever since.

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Credit: @Sichpicss

Next, I grew up dancing. Around 2-7 hours every night of the week after school. So I have always been very active. When I switched to professional cheerleading in 2013, I started doing weight lifting and HIIT style workouts, which I found worked best for me to keep me in shape and motivated. HIIT workouts (High Intense Interval Training) are my favourite. They are, like it includes in the name, intense! Which I personally love. I also love mixing weight lifting combined with some sort of cardio exercise. For example, I’ll do chest press combined with burpees to keep my heart rate up.

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I 100% agree with the saying “abs are built in the kitchen”. When the CFL cheer season comes around and I know I’m going to be repping crop tops, I zone in on my diet. I DO NOT follow a diet. Take it from a girl who has tried every diet in the book, there are none that I personally found were 1) sustainable and 2) realistic. I suffered from an eating disorder for around four years. During this time, I completely messed up my relationship with food. I lost the concept of what “full” felt like and what it was like to feel “hungry”. It took me a long time to get to where I am today with food, and even still, I sometimes slip up. I’ve starved myself, I ‘ve over-exercised and I’ve gone through binging and purging episodes and not one of these three things worked and on top, they left me feeling terrible both physically and mentally.

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When it comes to what I eat, there are a few things I do. When eating, I try to include: a carb, a protein, a fat and some kind of vegetable into my meals. I personally, do not eat gluten or dairy. Why?? Because I simply feel better when I don’t include these two things in my diet. I feel less “heavy” and less bloated. By “heavy” I don’t mean fat, I mean when I eat food with gluten in it, I feel like I ate rocks. My stomach feels uncomfortable and too full. A day of eating for me looks like:
-smoothie in the morning/ early afternoon (cashew milk, blueberries, natural peanut butter (fat), spinach (vegetable), vega protein powder (protein obviously) and dry GF oats (carb). This will usually keep me full for a while.
-supper or late lunch is usually rice, meatless ground beef, some kind of vegetable and salsa.
-some times at night time my body will rave carbs if I didn’t eat enough during the day, so I will eat GF toast and natural peanut butter.
-snacks include: carrots and hummus, chips and salsa or some kind of dairy/gluten free protein bar
-I try to eat lots of veggies and fruit and stay away from anything processed. When buying snacks, I look at the ingredients and pick out things that only have ingredients I recognized and have fewer ingredients in them.
-I also try and stay away from sugars (other than the sugars in natural foods like fruit and veggies).

Balance is key. If you’re craving something, EAT IT. I learned this the hard way. I used to completely cut things out of my diet and my body would crave these things. Eventually, I would end up binge eating whatever it was I cut out. For example, if I want something sweet, I let myself have something sweet.

Drinking lots of water and taking a probiotic is also something I do to help aid my digestion!

I’m sorry for those of you who read this, thinking I would have some secret, but in real life, there are no short cuts.

  1. Eating a balanced diet. Include lots of veggies and UNprocessed foods.
  2. Try and do something active every day and find a workout that YOU enjoy.
  3. Do NOT starve your body from something its craving. Try finding a healthier alternative or have a little of what it’s craving.
  4. Drink lots of water and stay away from pop or other drinks that are high in sugar.
  5. Remember that not everyone’s body is supposed to look a certain way, as long as you feel good and healthy, that’s all that matters!
  6. Listen to your body. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re sore and tired, take a day off from working out.
  7. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
  8. Meal prep so you have healthy options ready when you get hungry.
  9. Bring healthy snacks with you to munch on.
  10. DO NOT follow trendy or fast diets. They do not work (please take my advice who has tried everything, literally).

Am I in the best shape I’ve ever been? Nope. But I feel close to the best I’ve ever left. I’ve finally found the best workouts and eating habits that leave me feeling strong and healthy. If you have any questions, please let me know. I am in no means a dietician, but I have tried a lot of different things to get me to where I am today!

I hope your Monday is amazing!

Keep smiling!

A

Where Have I been??

Hey all!

I have been writing and rewriting this post for ages now. I never want to write something, just for the sake of writing, because then it’s not authentic and I have no reason to force out content when I simply have this blog for fun and for my own mind.

I’ve had a lot of really good things happen over the last few months and I’ve also had a rough few months mentally.

I started this post to write about things that interested me, things that I didn’t see were talked about enough and honestly just because I love to write.

Mental health is one of my favourite topics to talk about. It is something that not only effects me greatly but also the population I work with, friends and family.

My mental health took a dive this past little while. I’m not sure if it was the weather, stress or what, but I found myself trying to isolate and distance myself from everyone around me. For the first time ever, I understand why anorexics don’t eat to try and shrink themselves because that is exactly how I felt. I wanted to shrink myself away into darkness. I have made a conscious effort to put my mental health first by being honest to my loved ones around me, taking the time and space I need to let my mental health flourish and understanding that everyone goes through these times.

I have recently decided to embark on my journey to get my masters, which has been a lot more complicated than I expected. My end goal is to get my Masters in Clinical Social Work. Unfortunately for me, I need to go get my bachelor’s of social work before getting my masters even though I already have a bachelor’s in sociology, with a minor in psychology. If any of you are reading this and are currently in University, I urge you to plan out your degree(s) better than I did. I do believe no type of education is wasted, BUT at how expensive it is, I would have definitely taken a different route than the one I am forced to take now.

I am cheering (dancing) again! After taking a year off from the Rough Rider Cheer team, I have decided to go back this year. After spending this year, really regretting not dancing longer while I had the chance, I decided to try out for the team again and made it. Though I  am constantly sore, I am very happy to be dancing again with so many talented and amazing girls. I am excited about this season and can’t wait for the fans to see all the hard work we have been putting towards the team.

That is all I am going to update for now! I just want to get some writing out, so I am no longer in a writer’s block.

Talk soon!

AB

#BellLetsTalk

Bell let’s Talk About Mental Health.

Let’s talk about the millions of people who suffer every day.

Bell let’s talk about how it took me 28 years to love myself.

28 years to understand that I don’t have to accept negative actions towards me, or accept the negative things my brain tries to tell me.

Bell let’s talk about how people still don’t accept mental illness as a real illness

Let’s talk about how people continue to feel fearful about asking for help, and feel like they’re going to be judged and labelled.

Bell let’s talk about what we can do everyday to tackle mental health.

Let’s not just talk once a year, let’s talk every single day of the year until everyone in the world feels comfortable taking.

Bell let’s talk today.

Tomorrow

And the next day.

Let’s talk for ourselves and for the people who aren’t able to.

Piercings and Tattoos

So I’m not sure if anyone else out there love piercing and tattoo youtube videos, but I personally do. I love knowing what piercings and tattoos other people have and their experience getting them. I have a have a decent amount of both. I always joke when people ask me how many piercings I have that I got an absurd amount of piercings because to rebel against my parents at 16, that’s all I could really do.

Hmm where should we start.. Let’s do tattoos first.

Tattoos:

  1. Three connected circles on my foot:
    I got this one in Mexico, with my three Mexican wives (that’s what we called each other). For those of you reading this and didn’t know, I lived in Mexico for a year, dancing at a resort. I met two other girls I worked with for a short time and we immediately built a strong connection and decided to get this tattoo to remember each other and the fun we had.
  2. ‘Siempre’ on my left hand:
    I got this tattoo for my sister to represent she’s ‘always’ with me, which is what the Spanish siempre means (always). I also got this one in Mexico.
  3. Infinity sign on the back of my neck:
    My best friend at the time and I got this tattoo in Amsterdam while we were travelling Europe. This tattoo is small, but is probably one I would get removed in the future.
  4. ‘WILD’ on my lip:
    Yep. I have a lip tattoo that says ‘wild’. I got this in the Gili Islands in Indonesia with an amazing Swedish girl I met. We were equally as spontaneous, and I ended up with a lip tattoo and she got a large feather on her arm. AND no, I was not drunk or high. I was completely sober.
  5. Anchor on my right wrist:
    I do not like this tattoo. For 1) after I got it, an anchor tattoo became very popular so now everyone and their dog has one. 2) When I got it touched up, the tattoo artist made is super thick, and it stands out way too much on my super white wrist skin (personal opinion). I would love to get this tattoo removed one day. I got this tattoo in Thailand, with an ex-boyfriend. The day after I got it I fell down a waterfall and messed it up. Learn from me. Don’t get a tattoo, then climb a waterfall.
  6. Enso symbol on my left forearm:
    I got this tattoo on my old self-harming scars. An Enso can mean something different to everyone but to me, it is a Buddhism symbol that represents my journey of life and the acceptance of imperfections within my journey.
  7. ‘Vivir libre. Vivir feliz’ on the side of my left foot:
    I got this tattoo at the end of my Central American solo trip in Panama City. The phrase means: Live free. Live happy. A friend that I danced in Mexico with always said this. I loved the way he lived and the way he saw life and this phrase is still important to me 10 years after I’ve been home from Mexico.
  8. An arrow on my right ankle:
    I got this tattoo with a past best friend of mine. We are both Sagittarius’, and an arrow is a symbol of the horoscope sign. We also both liked the phrase: “An Arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back, it means that it is going to launch you into something great.” Though we are no longer best friends, this tattoo still means a lot to me.

 

Piercings:

Like I mentioned in my short disclaimer, I have A LOT of piercings and all but one of them are on/in my ears. OOO Ashley you’re so rebellious (but my parents were actually mad at me for getting all of them).

  1.  Earlobes:
    I have my ear lobes pierced twice on my left ear lobe and three times on my right. I pierced my third hole myself. Pain tolerance literally a 1/10.
  2. Tragus:
    I got this done on my left ear. This one hurt (7/10) and got super infected. I’m pretty sure the piercer used too small of jewelry. **MAKE SURE YOU GO TO AN EXPERIENCED PIERCER!!
  3. Rook:
    I got this in my right ear. This one wasn’t too bad in regards to pain level (6/10) and I also went to a way better piercing place, which probably helped in both the pain level and healing time. BUT, I would like to mention with this piercing I noticed it made my ear stick out further than the ear that I don’t have this piercing on.
  4. Helix:
    The helix was very similar to the rook, but less pain (4.5/10). This one I have on my left ear. It healed fast and I have had no issue with it.
  5. Auricle:
    I have a double auricle piercing on my left ear. I got the piercings done at different times and I found this piercing to be quite painful (7/10). I also have found this one to take a little longer to heal than some of my other ear piercings, probably similar to my tragus (minus the infection). The first auricle I got pierced I got a hoop and the second I got with a barbell. I liked the hoop way better. I find the barbell gets stuck and caught a lot, which is probably adding to the healing time.
  6. Conch:
    Oh man. I got this piercing on my right ear and I love it.. NOW. This one hurts (8.5/10). I mean if you grab your ear and pinch you can already get the vibe that this one would be painful. It also takes a long time to heal and actually still hurts years after I’ve gotten it pierced. Still worth it though because it is one of my favourite piercings.
  7. Nipple:
    This is my newest piercing, some would say a quarter life crisis, I might say they’re right. I have been back and forth about this piercing for a while, but I finally found someone to get it with that gave me the extra push. Now, I did endless research on this. I have extremely sensitive nipples to the point that if my shirt brushes me the right way I get turned on, so I did not want anything to go wrong. We went to a good and experienced piercer and made sure to ask a billion questions. So.. when people tell you this piercing hurts, they are NOT lying. I have a high pain tolerance, but wowza, this baby hurt (9/9/10). It hurt quite a bit for a few days later. I found normal wired bras to be the best because I usually wear sport bras and they were too tight. I recently caught the piercing on my deodorant (not even sure how this is possible) and I literally thought I ripped my nipple off. I have heard that piercing your nipple can desensitize it, but that definitely did not happen for me, my nipple is more sensitive now. One thing I would have liked to know is that you will permanently have PN (perky nipple), and since I only got one nipple done it probably looks a little odd. But overall I love it and I’m excited for it to be healed so I can put different jewelry in.
  8. I had my nose pierced (twice), but I don’t wear anything in it anymore. I was super young when I originally got it done and loved it, but I took it out because I thought it brought too much attention to my nose which I didn’t like. I had it out for a while and then got it re-pierced because I missed it and god help me, getting your nose re-pierced through scar tissue it not fun. The original piercing was a 5/10 for pain level and getting it re-pierced was probably a 6.5/10.

I love piercings personally (mostly ears) and will probably add to my collection. I don’t know if I will ever get my other nipple done because that was quite the journey. I have a lot of future tattoo ideas, but the older I get, the more scared I am to ink my body.

If you have any questions please let me know! If you have any judgments, keep them too yourself. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

-A